A Journal

"I'm going to come back to West Virginia when this is over. There's something ancient and deeply-rooted in my soul. I like to think that I have left my ghost up one of those hollows, and I'll never really be able to leave for good until I find it. And I don't want to look for it, because I might find it and have to leave".----Breece D'J Pancake, in a letter to his mother. 

Vincent Poturica



House keeping


Because I’m cultivating
a friendship with Death.
And because my wife 
loves me as I am, 

I’m not so bothered by 
the clouds pretending 
to be turds, or by the 
seagulls squawking a

terrific chorus of Fuck 
. The alley behind 
our building is not a river. 
Capitalism is not capable 

of fair play. I can’t levitate 
silverware with my mind. 
But today I will clean the 
kitchen with reverence.




international development

once upon a time
seven years ago
while trying to survey 
a section of el petén 
by counting our footsteps
I asked the village elder
leading the way 
how much farther 
we needed to walk
before stopping for lunch 
(I was hungry & the 
bees would not stop
sucking the sweat 
from my t-shirt)
the man smiled 
at me & the bees 
(his shirt was dry) 
then he opened his mouth 
& pointed at the pink stub 
where his tongue
should have been
the army cut it out 
luis explained
(luis had been a soldier)
I said claro & nodded
& the village elder began
walking again in his slow 
limping way & I realized 
that what I’d thought was 
the wind rushing between
the trees or possibly 
the low hum of the bees 
was the sound of this man 
without a tongue 
trying to whistle


 The extra ridge on my shoulder leftover from my twice-broken collarbone. Also, a top made from an acorn that an old man gave me in a park near the St. Louis Zoo. And a marble egg that I won in a Turkish raffle (I was told that it would boost my fertility). I like scars and unexpected gifts.

Vincent Poturica's writing has appeared or is forthcoming  in
New England Review, DIAGRAM,Birkensnake, New Ohio Review, and other journals. He liveswith his wife in Long Beach, CA, where he teaches English at Cerritos College and Chadwick School. Sometimes he tweets @vpoturica.